MILLEDGEVILLE — Following a season that saw the Georgia Military Prep School girl’s basketball team go 4-22 overall and 2-6 in the region, the GMC Prep administration decided to take another approach to building the program, naming Shawn Dennis as the new head girl’s basketball coach on Monday.
Dennis has served as assistant coach for the girl’s and boy’s basketball teams in the past, making him the primary candidate for the position moving forward.
“When the opening came about, there was really only one choice. I mean, Coach Dennis has been here for six years; he’s coached boy’s basketball and he’s coached girl’s basketball, he’s got a great relationship with the kids — the kids really look up to him,” Steven Simpson, athletic director, said. “You know, he does a great job at everything he does, from football, to track, to basketball, and so we felt he deserved an opportunity.”
For Dennis, the opportunity to be a head basketball coach is a dream come true.
“This is the reason I got into coaching. I knew I wanted to be a head basketball coach one day, and I knew I had to put in the time and wait my turn,” he said. “It didn’t really work out last year, so I just waited and tried to stay around the game. I knew I wanted to get back into it, whether it was a head coach or assistant to somebody, and it worked out for me where I could be the head basketball coach.”
Next season, the GMC Prep girl’s basketball program will experience a major facelift, with new coaches assisting Dennis at the middle school and high school levels.
“Julie Brooker is going to take over the middle school program, and I think she’s going to do a great job with that, teaching them fundamentals,” Dennis said. “Really, that’s what they need at that age — to learn how to play basketball. You can teach them ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’ later on, but they need to learn how to play basketball.”
At the high school level, Dennis will welcome back current junior varsity coach, Lori Simpson, and former middle school coach, Jennifer Spencer.
With a plethora of young returning players and a strong coaching staff, Dennis believes the Lady Bulldogs can be a force to reckon with next season.
“I’m excited about everything. I want to get in the gym right now and start practicing,” he said. “I think we have a really good team with a lot of potential. I think we’ll be fairly good; I think we’ll improve. So like I said, I’m excited about the whole opportunity.”